The Olympics are full of daddy issues, drama and dysfunction, and therefore, have acted as the perfect backdrop for many a movie. And what’s better than a good sports flick? A good Olympics flick, where the neurosis run EVEN DEEPER and the stage is EVEN LARGER. If you’re chomping at the bit for the London Games to start, we’re serving up a buffet of Olympic gold to tide you over. And look; it’s not my fault that most of the good Olympics movies are set at the Winter Games. But the theme song is the same and if you stole all the gold medals from both and melted them down into bullion, you’d probably get the same amount of cash for each. So let’s begin.
The Cutting Edge
Put a couple of drinks in me and hand me some freshly sharpened ice skates and I will perform for you my one-woman rendition of The Cutting Edge. If there is a better Olympic movie out there, you have taste in your ass, because there isn’t. Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney star in this epic love story between a tempestuous ice queen and the hockey star who is forced to trade in his pads for tights thanks to a puck to the eye, only to (spoiler alert) win her heart, and together, the gold. In bed. I’m pretty sure in real life the judges would knock you down a few points for making out on the ice, but I’ll allow it.
Oh man, you have got to see this movie. Baywatcher Susan Anton plays a genetically engineered Nazi running machine competing as a ringer for the US in the 1980 Moscow games. That’s it. That’s what the movie is about. If you’re at work, you should probably fake a stomach virus so you can go home and watch it. Tell your friends, too – this classic is BEGGING for it’s own drinking game.
Ahh man, the early 90s were such a great time for weirdly genre-less movies that straddled comedy and drama but we didn’t care because Doug E. Doug was in them. Plus, there are evil German dudes in it and John Candy plays an Olympic Coach in this true tale of the first-ever Jamaican Bobsled team.
I feel like I shouldn’t mock this one because it’s such a sad story. Steve Prefontaine ran fast and died young. And the movie is actually kind of watchable in all its Olympic glory. (Okay fine I just love Jordan Catalano.)
Chariots of Fire
So it follows British athletes (hi, British people!), but you knew it was coming, and you’re happy it did, because everyone knows that the best way to get into the Olympic spirit is listening to the Chariots of Fire theme song. Plus, a genuine classic about rivalry, God, and values set in good ‘ol 1924.
What are your favorite Olympic films? I recently stumbled across INTERNATIONAL Velvet starring Tatum O’Neal, which I obviously need to watch YESTERDAY, and I know I blatantly left off Blades of Glory and Miracle but you can only watch so many Winter Olympics movies in July and Munich is great but really bums me out. Okay, now you go.